If we learned anything lately it is that the Democratic Party is an absolute mess, according to columnist Charles Lane from that other Post (the little Washington one).
"The fault lines are deeper than ever 'between the young socialists' and the old establishment figures who run the place."
I would describe Lane as a moderate. Pretty much everybody at his newspaper hates Donald Trump, though, including the owner, Jeff Bezos (who also owns a little company called Amazon). So Lane's points rang true to me.
Over the holiday, I was discussing the Democratic debates with my son-in-law Brian. We are actually like two peas in a pod, except for politics. We both love to talk about issues, particularly with people that we do not always agree with. I use him as my liberal-leaning, millennial sounding board – whether he likes it or not!
A day after our discussion, I happened upon Lane's piece, which dovetailed with my own observations. So this column is dedicated to you, Brian!
To me, Joe Biden rocketed to the lead in the Democratic polls for one reason. Namely, the only thing uniting Democrats right now is the mutual disdain they feel for Donald Trump.
Not to put words in their mouths, but let's just say that neither Brian or Charles Lane are big Trump fans. I would liken myself more to the late Charles Krauthammer on the Trump question, who often agreed with Trump on the issues but couldn't tolerate him personally. Trump's boorish and erratic behavior just rubs even conservatives like me the wrong way.
The Dems need to chip away at such conservatives. They just need to snatch a few. Biden would be the logical candidate to help them win, on paper, but he performed terribly at the debate. Just didn't seem to have it anymore. If I was a Democrat, I would be very afraid to put all my eggs in that basket.
How about Kamela Harris, who beat Biden like a drum in the debate? My take and Lane's was that Harris sounded too scripted. The days following the debate, that became even more obvious. Harris "scored" by hitting hard on Biden for opposing federally-mandated busing. Oldsters like me remember that busing was not particularly popular with about anybody at the time. Harris emotionally supported the federal mandates at the debate.
A few days later, Harris backed away from federal mandates. Instead, she flopped to much the same position as Biden – that states and school districts should make decisions. Scripted. She also flopped on Medicare for all, saying on stage that she would eliminate all private insurance and then, the next day, said she wouldn’t. Harris told the liberal debate audience what they wanted to hear until her advisers swooped in with polling data that showed her the political reality of her positions.
The one thing that people find appealing about Trump is that he is not afraid to make decisions that run afoul of popular passions. About all that Harris proved is that she can "rhetorically bludgeon an old white male in front of a camera and not think twice about it," commented Lane.
To both me and Lane, the Democrats in the debate are being pushed way too far leftward – like health care for illegal immigrants when many of us Americans who do not work for the government can't even afford our own. And did you notice how each one would slowly look around the room and then raise their hands in lockstep? Not a good look.
Lane closed his argument pointing out that the Trump campaign has banked huge sums for his re-election effort and just scored the highest approval rating of his presidency (47 percent) in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll. Better yet for Trump, 54 percent of respondents would consider voting for Trump against any Democrat that was tagged as a socialist.
"As Democrats push their presidential candidates further to the left, the American economy continues to bounce and cracks emerge in Pelosi’s makeshift socialist dam, Trump’s chances for re-election are getting better every day" said Lane.
Do you agree? Vote in our weekly online Post reader poll: "Did the Democrat debate make you more or less likely to vote for Trump?"